NEDUMBASSERY: In a major security lapse, a 12-year-old boy was found roaming in the air-side of Cochin International Airport here on Thursday night.
The boy, identified as Kiran, son of Kishore Nambery of Perungottukara, Thrissur, is said to be mentally-challenged.
He was spotted near the aircraft bay in the air-side of the airport by CIAL apron controller and Air India ground handling staff around 9.30 p.m. They immediately intercepted the boy, questioned him and later handed him over to the Nedumbassery Police.
Ernakulam Rural District Police Chief Harshita Attaluri said the relatives of the boy were summoned. According to the relatives, the boy, a class IX student of St Thomas HS, Peringottukara, had a habit of leaving home without informing the parents and would return after a few days.
SP Attaluri said that preliminary inquiry revealed that he had a ticket to the visitorsâ€™ gallery. The police suspect that the boy would have entered the air-side of the airport through the No 1 gate guarded by the CISF personnel. The boy would have jumped over the compound wall and gone to the bay to have a closer look at the aircraft.
The SP told Express that the boy was handed over to his relatives as the police found no ulterior motive behind his entry to the air-side. The boy was also questioned by state special branch DySP Sabu Mathew and internal security DySP Venugopal at Nedumbassery.
CISF urged to be vigilant
SP Attaluri said the CISF would be urged to be more vigilant and to take proper steps to prevent such incidents in the future. Patrolling would be intensified by the police in the city-side of the airport.
However, presence of the boy in the airside of Kochi airport has put the CISF in the dock.
Meanwhile, Airport Director ACK Nair said the CIAL had ordered an inquiry into the incident. The CIAL is also learnt to have asked the CISF to take the matter very seriously. The CISF, Police and BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Securities) will conduct separate inquiries into the incident.
This is not the first time that such a security lapse is occurring in the airport.
On October 31, 2009, a mentally-challenged person, Abdul Latheef of Malappuram, had managed to enter the air-side and reach near the aircraft.